The Sky made franchise history Friday, August 23 after capturing their first playoff berth in Sky history. The Sky, who entered the WNBA Eastern Conference in 2006, has had quite the journey in their eight years in the league. Through the wins and the losses, the Sky held close their goal of clinching a playoff spot.

The 2013 season is arguably the most exciting of them all. The Sky started the pre-season with a bang, using their second pick in the draft to select Elena Delle Donne, the 6-5 guard/forward from Delaware. Delle Donne, one of the “Three To See,” was a highly anticipated addition to the WNBA. This season she has proven that the initial hype was warranted.

With Delle Donne’s versatility, along with the experience of veterans like Swin Cash, Courtney Vandersloot, Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince, the Sky looked like the team to beat. After defeating the stacked Phoenix Mercury squad in the first game of the regular season they showed that they were. Delle Donne’s transition to the WNBA went without a hitch from the start, scoring 22 points in that first game to sit third in WNBA rookie debut history.

The team continued to put pressure on their opponents as they moved through the hectic WNBA schedule setting new franchise records as they went. They had their best start in franchise history after winning the first three games with an average 93.3 points, 42.3 rebounds and 17.7 assists per game. They set their best home start record on June 29 after defeating the Los Angeles Sparks at Allstate Arena. They improved this home record to 7-1 after defeating the New York Liberty on July 20. Beating the Liberty to clinch a playoff berth is another for the Sky record book.

While the Sky has consistently walked off the court with the “W” in 2013, it was not without the effort from the entire roster. The Sky has dealt with injury, having lost Fowles and Prince to injury during pivotal parts of the 2012 season, pulling them out of playoff contention. This year the fear of another repeat reared its ugly head as Fowles hit the ground on June 29 against the Sparks. Injuring her ankle, Fowles sat on the bench as the Sky took on the Seattle Storm at home.

Her return on July 7 was welcomed, but the struggle to keep all 11 players healthy continued. In an aggressive game against the Washington Mystics, Delle Donne went down during a jump ball attempt, sustaining a concussion. Delle Donne returned to the court on August 6 when the Sky faced the defending WNBA champions Indiana Fever. After finding her rhythm in that game, Delle Donne dropped her most impressive game of the season scoring 32 points and hitting the game tying 3-pointer with seconds left against the first placed Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, August 11.

One game later (8/13), a repeat of June 29 occurred as the team went west to face the L.A. Sparks. This time, instead of Fowles falling, Delle Donne left the game and did not return. It was determined that she sustained a mid-foot sprain, which kept her out of the action until August 18. The Sky has also worked without reserve center Carolyn Swords (knee) and point guard Sharneé Zoll-Norman (thumb).

Through it all the Sky has learned to work together as a winning team. When someone was down, another filled in. Before tearing her MLC, Swords took over the paint for the injured Fowles. She set a season high in minutes (31), points (12) and steals (5) against New York on July 18 helping the Sky to capture the win. Shooting guard Allie Quigley and Prince stepped into the reserve point guard role without hesitation after Zoll-Norman injured her thumb. Their dedication has resulted in a versatile team at the top of the ranks.

While the Sky have achieved their goal of earning a playoffs berth there is more left to this journey. Principle owner Michael Alter and Head Coach Pokey Chatman have set several other goals for this team as they move forward through regular season play and into playoffs. Working game by game, the Sky intend to continue to shatter franchise records while delivering exciting basketball to their dedicated fans.